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Des Bishop shows cancelled as dad takes turn for the worse

Comedian won plaudits for show and documentary about his father who is suffering from terminal cancer.
Jan 31st 2011, 2:46 PM 3,375 8

COMEDIAN DES BISHOP has had to cancel performances of his latest show this week after his father took “a turn for the worse”. Bishop has been making audiences alternate between tears and laughter with the bittersweet My Dad Was Nearly James Bond.

The show, which tells the story of his father’s colourful life as an actor and model, was a critical success in Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year. Bishop said that he had always planned to tell his dad Mike’s story but was given particular impetus just over a year ago when Mike was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Mike appeared on stage with Des every night of his Edinburgh run in August last year and the story behind the show was told in a warmly-received documentary on RTE One last week. (It can still be watched on the RTE Player here).

However, a spokesperson for the Pavilion Theatre in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin – where Bishop was to perform the show from tomorrow night until next Saturday – has said that the gigs have had to be suddenly postponed because Mike Bishop has become seriously ill. She said:

Des’s dad has taken a turn for the worse. He is flying back to America now. We are hoping the show might be able to go on again later in the year but for now we are giving a full refund for all tickets.

Bishop’s website has not yet updated with the cancellations.

My Dad Was Nearly James Bond is inspired by the early career of Mike Bishop. In the 1960s, he was a bit actor and model but he just missed out on landing the role of James Bond to a colleague called George Lazenby. Des’s show focused on how his father had instead turned to working in retail and bringing up his three boys with wife Eileen in New York.

Des told Alan Corr of the RTE Guide that the show dealt with his dad’s regrets and how they had affected Des and his brothers growing up:

It’s a story about my dad regretting what might have been all his life and me not being that crazy about those regrets. He brought me and my two brothers up to be successful men but maybe he was thinking there was some greater achievement he lost out on. I wanted to do something about that but I never knew how to do it. Then my dad got sick and those regrets, the things that were going to drive the original idea for the show, well, he dismissed them outright.

Instead the story evolved into how his father was coping with his imminent death. Mike Bishop recently finished his last bout of chemotherapy and Des remarked:

This is it. Even subconsciously you can’t console yourself with the thought that maybe he’s going to live longer.

Des’s brother Aidan recently set up a Facebook page dedicated to dad Mike, which can be seen here.

See thepaviliontheatre.ie for information on refunds.

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Susan Daly

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